For Giuliani, the Trip South Started Early
By Michael Leahy and Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 30, 2008; A01
In presidential politics, a candidate’s irrelevance immediately precedes his annihilation.
Rudolph W. Giuliani‘s creeping irrelevance in the Republican race for the White House began to be felt, fatally, 10 days before the Florida primary. Few in his tepid crowds seemed even to know that, by then, the man once regarded as the front-runner for the party’s nomination had already been campaigning in the state for seven weeks.
“Mayor, how do you like being back campaigning in Florida?” he was asked welcomingly after a Saturday afternoon speech in a central-state retirement community called the Villages. Giuliani winced. “I’m not back in Florida,” he said, laughing wanly. “I’ve been here for quite some time.”
Rudy Giuliani had nothing going for him in a national campaign except his own inflated opinion of himself. Plus a 9-11 legacy that was quickly turning, if not to a 9-11 indictment, a total meltdown evidencing error after error and nearly endless self-aggrandisement at the expense of police and firemen.
Other issues kept him in the race.
Name recognition and his security consultancy business were two. Outside New York, who knew Rudy? Inside New York, it seems they knew him too well. If Giuliani Partners was going to do big business internationally (and there was plenty of big business to be done), clients had to know who it was when Rudy gave them a jingle.
Preparedness–Communication–Courage–Accountability was the pitch on the company stationery, but there was still the name thing? “Rudy who? Ask him to leave a message.”
Then, of course, there’s the money. There’s always the money and candidates get to keep what’s left from campaign contributions once they quit. Three and a half months ago (the last reporting date) Rudy had raised $47,253,521, spent $30,603,695 and had nearly $17 million in the old coffers.
The ‘old coffers’ is a George Bush term for what he intends to get out there and fill, once this annoying presidency of his is over.
If Rudy was wise and raised anywhere near as much in Florida as he spent, there’s still a mother-lode of money out there for retirement and to pump into Giuliani Partners.
So–for a guy who had way too much baggage to drag around trying to be president, it’s not been a bad deal. There’ll be speaking engagements at reasonable fees and name recognition when he gets on the phone.
If they giggle a bit and raise an eyebrow, what the hell, it’s still business.